Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL AND DCF MOVE AILING CHILD TO FOSTER HOME AND AWAY FROM PARENTAL CUSTODY BECAUSE OF CONTRADICTORY DIAGNOSES

I sometimes wonder, as I write these blogs, whether anyone is reading them. More importantly, if they are, are they paying attention to the information and the message I am giving?

I have been warning about the out-of-control nightmare known as the Department Of Children And Families (“DCF”) since long before recent revelations of incompetence have come to light. Those revelations had to do with failures to pay necessary attention to children DCF have set up to be victimized in sick and depraved foster homes. I have been spouting warnings about the other, perhaps more insidious, side of this agency which has bastardized the cause of “helping and protecting” our children, let alone families.

Usually, I concede the assumption that the agency and its mindless minions are ” meaning well.” I try to rationalize that despite the great harm they do on a daily basis…they are simply misguided.

And then comes a case like this one.

Cases like this one make me wonder whether the system has simply gone brain-dead or if the very conscious need to cover their collective buttocks …or something worse…is at grudge match proportions to the extent that the well being of children and families (two words from their three word title) has actually become unimportant.

Let’s back up a bit. In case you have not heard any of the news reports about the plight of a minor who I will not name…although you can certainly find it in almost any news report. (hereinafter, the “Child”), let me present what has already been revealed to the public prior to the court’s new “gag order” now placed on those involved.

By the way, I am not involved.

Monday was apparently quite a day at the Boston Municipal Court’s Juvenile Court. There, during a court hearing, the Child’s mother and father, Mr. And Mrs. Pelletier (herein after,the “Family”) reacted in shock and horror as the court announced that their young ill daughter would now be placed in foster care.

The 15-year-old Child, a little over a year ago, was being treated for mitochondrial disorder, the “Disease”,, a rare genetic disease. She was being treated by an expert in the field at Boston’s Tufts University Medical Center. Because that doctor was changing hospitals, the Child was transferred to Boston Childfen’s Hospital, “BCH”, where she was going to be followed by that same doctor.

By the way, the Family had already had some experience with the disease because another family had it.

Unfortunately, although the Child, Family and expert were on the same page…the folks at BCH was not. Another little piece of information that many folks do not know is that DCF and BCH have a very cozy relationship.

In any event, extremely shortly after the Child was transferred to BCH, things began to change.

You see, once the Child was transferred, BCH rejected the expert’s (until then successful) diagnosis and treatment and decided that Tufts Medical, the expert and the Family were so off-base that they needed DCF to step in and cut off communication between the physician and patient (the Child), as well as the Family and Child.

It turns out that BCH apparently does not believe said that the Disease exists…something it failed to mention previous to and during the Child’s transfer. Instead, BCH opined that the Child had somatoform disorder, a mental illness characterized by pain and gastrointestinal symptoms that have no identifiable physical cause.

Further, there would be no acceptance of a disagreement. If the expert and Family disagreed, then they were a threat to the child and so had to be severely limited in communication with the Child. If the Family had the temerity to show any emotishooter the situation, they had to be cut off altogether.

Regardless of how such separation might effect the Child whom BCH believed was suffering from a mental illness, DCF took it to Juvenile Court where they have been, and remain, allowed to continue their course of action.

A course of action, by the way, that might seem absurd and shocking to the rest of us, but is not so uncommon in DCF Land.

As time, and court permission continued, DCF took custody of the Child, cut out the expert altogether, threw the Child into a psychiatric ward, refused to tell the Family where the Child was being held and limited the Family’s contact to just one hour a week, with two 20-minute phone calls (which are monitored by hospital staff).

Oh yes, by the way, not that it matters, but the Child’s condition has worsened.

All this was before Monday’s hearing during which DCF was allowed to move the Child to a foster home.

Not for nothing, but we have seen through other now-revealed debacles what a wonderful solution that can be…!


Attorney Sam’s Take On DCF Abuse

Tomorrow, we will continue with this story. But now, I think it might be helpful to step back and look at it as it relates to you.

Your child is ill. It would appear that she is ill with an unusual disease. You have sought out an expert in the field because you want the very best for your child. You find that expert. The expert agrees to help you, and through that experts treatment, things seem to be getting better.

Your child, a young teen, is able to describe what she is feeling. As I say, things seem to be getting on the right road. Although a fairly unusual disease, what your child has is widely accepted as a true disease. Further, the expert is following the recommended treatment.

This is not a case in which, for religious reasons reasons, you are refusing to treat the child. The child is being treated, it would appear, correctly.

Another doctor gets wind of your daughter’s treatment.

That doctor says he does not agree with your doctors diagnosis and treatment.

Because you believe in the ongoing treatment, you disagree with this outside doctor.

Because you disagree with him, the outside doctor contacts DCF.

You lose custody and control of your daughter and her treatment. Further, you are barely allowed to even communicate with her. At times when you get emotional about this, you lose contact with your daughter altogether.

You may have thought that, being the parent, you have the right to choose between the doctors and their treatment. You may have thought that your daughter, 15 years old, could have an opinion in the matter.

You are wrong on both counts.

You have lost your daughter, either through her worsening condition or because you did disagree with DCF and the outside doctor.

It is as simple as that.

Your only choice in that situation? Find and retain a lawyer who is qualified and experienced in dealing with this type of nightmare. DCF will simply tell you to trust them. That they know what is best. That they know better than you, your doctor or your child.

And they somehow are able to say this with a straight face and take your daughter without a face mask and a gun.

Consult a lawyer immediately!

NOTE TO READERS


I will continue this story tomorrow. You may notice that there have been a couple of postings drafted by other people on this blog, the most recent of which by Nicole Vee. As noted, the postings are by staff of Altman and Altman and not Attorney Sam Blogs. They are, however, there to help give you information during the time I am trying to get back to a regular writing schedule.

To read the original stories upon this blog is based, please go to http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2014/02/24/parents-justina-pelletier-upset-after-learning-teenager-will-now-sent-dcf-foster-care-advocates-say/r6TKrvmVGf2lxmHgQKZC6O/story.html and http://westhartford.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/court-rules-against-pelletier-family-in-west-hartford-custody-case

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